The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance making `triple talaq’ an offence. The ordinance was approved after making amendments to the draft Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.
There were three contentious issues that had stalled the passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha though it was passed by the Lok Sabha in the last session of Parliament. The ordinance has to be passed in the next session of Parliament.
Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there was a “compelling necessity” to bring the measure as instances of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
The first change allows only a woman, or a close relative, to file a police case against her husband for instant triple talaq, the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word “talaq” (divorce) thrice.
The second amendment allows her to drop the case if the husband comes around later and they arrive at a compromise while the third amendment makes provision of bail for the erring husband, though by a magistrate.
The practice of triple talaq had been declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last August, prompting the government to bring a law.
However, there were some dissenting voices on the move. “This ordinance is against the Muslim women. This ordinance will not provide justice to the Muslim women. In Islam, marriage is a civil contract and bringing penal provisions in it is wrong,” said Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and AIMIM chief.
“Modi government not making this an issue for justice for Muslim women, but making this into a political issue,” says Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has hinted that it would challenge the ordinance in the Supreme Court.